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The treatment of locally recurrent chondrosarcoma

Is extensive further surgery justified?

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The aim of this study was to define the treatment criteria for patients with recurrent chondrosarcoma. We reviewed the data of 77 patients to examine the influence of factors such as the intention of treatment (curative/palliative), extent of surgery, resection margins, status of disease at the time of local recurrence and the grade of the tumour. A total of 70 patients underwent surgery for recurrent chondrosarcoma. In seven patients surgery was not a viable option. Metastatic disease occurred in 41 patients, appearing synchronously with the local recurrence in 56% of cases. For patients without metastasis at the time of local recurrence, the overall survival at a mean follow-up after recurrence of 67 months (0 to 289) was 74% (5 of 27) compared with 19% (13 of 50) for patients with metastasis at or before the development of the recurrence. Neither the type/extent of surgery, site of tumour, nor the resection margins for the recurrent tumour significantly influenced the overall survival.

With limited survival for patients with metastatic disease at the time of local recurrence (0% for patients with grade III and de-differentiated chondrosarcoma), palliative treatment, including local radiation therapy and debulking procedures, should be discussed with the patients to avoid long hospitalisation and functional deficits. For patients without metastasis at the time of local recurrence, the overall survival of 74% justifies an aggressive approach including wide resection margins and extensive reconstruction.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr A. Streitbuerger; e-mail:

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